and Brady background checks for firearms through the National Instant Criminal Background
Check System (NICS). Pursuant to the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (P.L. 103-159),
in November 1998 the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) activated NICS for the purposes of
determining an individual’s firearms transfer and possession eligibility whenever a private person
seeks to acquire a firearm from a federally licensed gun dealer. Prior to February 2004, however,
the FBI did not conduct terrorist watchlist queries as part of the Brady background checks
because being a known or suspected terrorist was not a disqualifying factor for firearms transfer
and possession eligibility; nor is it today under current law.